Semiconductor Equipment

Data center energy efficiency a key component of expanded 800G test portfolio

15 February 2022

It wasn’t long ago that operating at 400G connectivity seemed like speeding at the edge of the universe. But the technology is already beginning to show signs of strain as it meets the unprecedented bandwidth demand of data-hungry applications such as video conferencing, streaming and digital entertainment, as well as the massive data flow from 5G and the internet of things (IoT). Hyperscale data centers have begun to address this explosive traffic growth in the only way they can. Yes, you guessed it: We’ve begun to enter the world of 800G.

Along with that milestone, of course, comes the need for new testing capabilities — and Keysight Technologies is clearly in the starting lineup. In December 2020, the company launched a set of 800G test solutions that included a 100 gigabit per second (Gb/s) transmitter and receiver pro-conformance test solution that was, according to a press release at the time, an industry first.

Fast forward to just over a year later, and the company has added support for multimode interfaces, which it says are critical for energy-efficient data center infrastructure.

“An ever-increasing growth in data traffic, compounded with data centers’ need to reduce their energy footprint, has prompted Keysight to launch the new 800G multimode test solutions,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, Keysight’s vice president of network and data center solutions. “These new solutions will help reduce power consumption in data center equipment. Energy conservation and efficiency in data centers has a significant positive impact on the health of the planet.”

The new solutions are designed to enable users to verify the performance of a wide range of optical transceiver modules and components, including vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), photodiodes, modulator drivers, transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) and physical layer (PHY) chips.

Moreover, the newly extended portfolio supports both 400G and 800G design validation, in accordance with standards defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), across the entire product lifecycle — from early research and development to manufacturing.

Test capabilities include:

  • Multimode component characterization using Keysight's N4373E lightwave component analyzer
  • Conformance and interoperability validation using Keysight's N1077B 64Gbaud multimode optical and electrical clock recovery solutions
  • Transceiver module performance evaluation using Keysight's A400GE-QDD and G800GE layer 1 multiport test solutions
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